IDF Officer Convicted of Striking Palestinian in 2008 West Bank Arrest

1st Lt. (res.) Adam Malul of the Kfir brigade convicted of assault, conduct unbecoming an officer.

A military court on Sunday convicted an Israel Defense Forces officer on charges of aggravated assault and conduct unbecoming an officer, after he was accused of hitting a Palestinian in the West Bank.

The officer, 1st Lt. (res.) Adam Malul of the Kfir infantry brigade, was accused of hitting the man while making an arrest in the West Bank village of Kadum in September 2008.

The court rejected testimony by former commander of the Kfir infantry brigade, Col. Itai Virob, and former commander of the Shimshon unit, Lt. Col. Shimon Harush, in which they justified hitting Palestinian detainees under exceptional circumstances.

The court added that the commanding officers' testimony did not justify their subordinate's actions.

Malul's family on Sunday said that the trial was a smear campaign against him and accused the court of scape-goating him while acquitting his superiors.

A sentencing hearing will be held at a later date.

During Malul's trial, he testified that he was not ashamed of hitting the Palestinian man, saying "It was what I had to do."

However, GOC Central Command Gadi Shamni testified during the military trial that IDF soldiers were not authorized to attack Palestinian civilians during arrest raids, adding that those who cross the army's "red lines" must be put to trial.

Shamni added that the IDF never authorized the use of such aggression during questioning of detainees.